Indigenous Populations of North America, Australasia, and Circumpolar North

Kue Young

in Public Health

ISBN: 9780199756797
Published online August 2012 | | DOI:
Indigenous Populations of North America, Australasia, and Circumpolar North


It is estimated that worldwide there are some 370 million indigenous people in ninety countries. There is considerable variation in terminology, although “indigenous” appears to be the most accepted internationally and will be used in this bibliography. In specific contexts and some regions, other terms, such as “Aboriginal,” “Native,” or “tribal,” are also used and accepted. An all-encompassing definition of indigenous people that is applicable globally is elusive. A definition is conspicuously absent from the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted by the General Assembly on 13 September 2007, or in the International Labour Office’s Convention Number 169, the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention of 1989 (both cited under Government Documents). Various “operational” criteria have been used by different governmental and nongovernmental organizations and researchers to define indigenous peoples: (1) they usually live within (or maintain attachments to) geographically distinct ancestral territories; (2) they tend to maintain distinct social, economic, and political institutions within their territories; (3) they typically aspire to remain distinct culturally, geographically, and institutionally rather than assimilate fully into a national society dominated by a majority group; and (4) they self-identify as indigenous or tribal. A major problem with studying the health of indigenous peoples is the absence of health data specific to these populations, as few countries provide consistent health data on their indigenous populations. Many are incapable or unwilling to disaggregate health data according to ethnicity or indigenous status. For those jurisdictions that do provide data, there are many methodological problems relating to validity and completeness of coverage. This bibliography does not aim to be exhaustive or comprehensive in its coverage of the health of indigenous people. Geographically, it focuses on North America, Australasia, and the circumpolar North. Other countries are discussed when they are included as part of international or global reviews or studies. Key references, especially those that are “classic” or historically important, are cited, but these are not necessarily the most recent. Reviews are preferred over original scientific studies. As public health is multidisciplinary, both the biomedical and the social science literatures are accessed.

Article.  7944 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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